Thirteen Days of Studio Christmas 2015? :)

13 days of studio christmas

The Christmas Season puts everyone in holiday-cheer mode! Even us techy-geeks from the broadcast Animated-Christmas-3and post-production realm! So, in keeping with the holiday tradition (and instead of getting all those drummers drumming and maids-a-milking), Broadcast Beat Magazine asked people on many of our social media channels: “If you could get a cool production toy for Christmas, what would it be?” We then compiled the list of products everyone would like to have, and asked Santa to help us present it… it’s the Thirteen Days of Christmas (Huh!?), with a different product for each day…and an extra! Here is the list, in no particular order… We hope you enjoy it!

On the FIRST Day of Christmas, we received a Quadrocopter – The Zenmuse X5 is fabulous! This aerial camera was created specifically for aerial photography and cinematography. It can record 4K video set up to 30 frames per second and can capture still images at 16MP. Control the focus, aperture, white balance, shutter speed and many other functions with the wireless remote. With the DJI GO app, you’ll have a live HD view courtesy of DJI Lightbridge, allowing you to see exactly what the camera’s capturing! One-tap auto focus (or manual focus, if desired), full 360° camera control with the ability to upload or livestream your flights to YouTube – ALL at a range of a mile! This particular unit is loaded with features that you just have to see on the website… Also, there are many different models to choose from, all with varying price ranges. Check them out at:

On the SECOND Day of Christmas, we received iOgrapher – it was actually a gift certificate for the Pro Kit and so we went to the website to arrange for our goodies. First, we had to select whether we wanted VI agar for the iPhone, the iPad mini, the iPad 2/3/4, or the iPad Air 2. We chose the iPhone. Next, we selected lenses, choosing the Wide Angle lens; we then added a Ride Video Micro microphone, a Manfrotto ML240 LED light, but passed on the additional accessories available (such as tripods). All that was left was wait for Santa and his reindeer (aka UPS) to deliver it! See how we did it at:

 On the THIRD Day of Christmas, we received MyCaseBuilder – a custom foam-padded case for some of our production equipment! If you’ve ever had to pack and ship or take along delicate and expensive production equipment to various shoots or out in the field (like we do, when we traipse out to the various shows and conventions, like NAB), you know instantly the value of a good carrying case. Well, the cases at MyCaseBuilder are not just good – they’re superb! Their website helps you to create your own customized case – it even has templates for that perfect fit! They have camera cases, electronics cases, firearms cases and more! They can be waterproof, have wheels, be lockable, and made in various ways – like blow-molded, heavy-duty or even economy (although if your equipment means as much to you as ours does to us, we’d go for the premium cases!) Located in New Jersey, they received a 2014 manufacturing for having a bold new strategy! Check out their entire product line at:

On the FOURTH Day of Christmas, we received iKan’s DS1 Gimbal – and was it state of the art! For those of you who have never been camera operators, a gimbal is a pivoted support that allows the rotation of an object about a single axis… in other words, it holds the camera while allowing it to rotate in a controlled fashion for steady shooting. Gimbals have really become technological marvels in and of themselves, and iKan’s is no exception! The light-weight durable construction allows for easy operation, is equipped with 3 Axis Gyro Stabilized Brushless Motors to Balance Most Mirrorless Cameras and works with DSLR’s and cameras up to 3.7 pounds! See this product at:

On the FIFTH Day of Christmas, we received Autocue’s DSLR iPad Teleprompter – OK, so we already have a few of their fine teleprompters, but we wanted you to see one firsthand! Using your own iPad instead of a traditional monitor, Autocue’s 10” mounting hardware, hood & glass turns your handy device into a studio-usable teleprompter instantly, with the help of an app downloadable from the app store! Autocue has been around since 1955 and keeps-up with the current state of technology in order to offer the cutting-edge in prompting! It is truly amazing that you can create a prompted presentation so quickly and easily! See more at: or the DSLR version at:

On the SIXTH Day of Christmas, we received Switcher Studio – this impresses me each and every time I see it! According to their website, “Switcher Studio is a mobile production suite that allows content creators to use an iPhone or iPad as a portable video mixer.” AMAZING!!! The Switcher Studio allows you to sync up to 4 devices over WiFi and switch between the sources in real-time – like literally having a multiple-camera studio set-up but using iPhones (for example) instead of bulky cameras! Features like picture-in-picture, camera-roll access and screen-sharing really makes it seem like you’re at the studio! Simply record the video output to your primary device and stream live video anywhere with an internet connection – it’s THAT EASY! It’s so cool that you have to see it in action at:

On the SEVENTH Day of Christmas, we received Sony’s Journalist Backpack – The Video Journalist Backpack is an “include-all” solutions package that’s perfect for both professionals and budding video journalists. the kit comes equipped with a compact professional camcorder, full wireless microphone system, pro headphones, Xperia tablet, tripod, LED light kit, trolley, in addition to cables and accessories – all the tools necessary for capturing high-quality video, audio, lighting and even teleprompting – it even comes bundled in a backpack designed for maximum protection and storage of your gear! Pick-out your desired package at:

 On the EIGHTH Day of Christmas, we received the NewTek TalkShow – a device that we’ve been using for our popular Skype Video Interviews and we LOVE IT, LOVE IT!  TalkShow VS-100 is a video calling production system created specifically for television studios and live event productions! With the NewTek family of TriCaster products, integrate everything needed into a “single, elegant, cost-effective and easy-to-use system.” Let’s face it – quality video and sound is what it’s ALL ABOUT when you’re live streaming (or recording interviews, as we are) and NewTek is ALL ABOUT the best quality in video and sound. Don’t just take my word for it – schedule a video interview and see for yourself how great it turns out – or peruse the product yourself at:

 On the NINTH Day of Christmas, we received RUSHWORKS’ VDESK – well, that’s not exactly true… we received it early and started using it right away – in fact, the YouTube clip is literally our VERY first video interview from the studio EVER with the VDESK! Full motion overlays and the ability to perform easy transitions and effects gives the ultimate in camera control, all of which is accomplished through a combination of the Producer’s Interface (via Drag and Drop – the entire control panel that appears on your monitor is composed of little “modules” each with its own set of functions) and a joystick to operate PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) cameras. Rushworks’ own Rush Beesley takes to the airwaves and explains his VDESK product – watch as we take VDESK through its paces and demonstrate what a comprehensive control interface it truly is! Rush really makes it look easy; but that’s the thing – it just doesn’t look easy – it is easy! Explore this multi-faceted system at:

 On the TENTH Day of Christmas we received the TBC SmartTrac v2.1 (with their new controller, which has enhanced ergonomics and preset ability = v1.5 video gives you a basic introduction to the SmartTrac system). The SmartTrac console delivers a full ergonomic console solution for any technology-dependent task; it showcases rear device “Trac” – removable turrets and cable core that have an optional height-adaptability for any application that needs a “sit-stand desk.” “Tracs” allow for limitless sideways positioning of crucial monitors, for example. TBC consoles have it figured-out when it comes to the perfect studio furniture desk. I marvel at ours each and every time I use it! See it as well as their entire product line of custom manufactured studio furniture at:

 On the ELEVENTH Day of Christmas (AND for the audio gearhead in me), we can’t help but talk about Genelec! I have worked with their 8030A and 8040A series, but am now very interested in their SAM Studio Monitors. Audio reproduction in acoustically challenging environments calls for Smart Active Monitor (SAM™) technology. The quality of sound reproduction is usually based on a number of factors, the most important of which is the actual room design. Genelec has employed its proprietary technology to compensate for any deficiencies, curing most any room of its acoustic anomalies. For more about Genelec, visit:

Check-out the video featuring Genelec and our very own Janet West at the 2015 IBC Show in Amsterdam:

 On the TWELFTH Day of Christmas, the MOST IMPORTANT item we received was Autodesk’s new announcement of the FLAME Subscription model… IN FACT, Broadcast Beat Magazine was the first publication to break this news! We released a video interview AND a Q&A with Autodesk’s Marc Hamaker the morning of the announcement. Story Here: on Page 16-17! There are many advantages to “Going Subscription!” Discover all there is to know about the Autodesk Flame Subscription here:

On the THIRTEENTH Day of Christmas (…And you say, “There aren’t thirteen days of Christmas!?” – this is so good it just HAD to make the list!), we received Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini, a lightweight miniaturized URSA designed to be used on feature films, television shows, commercials, indies, documentaries, music videos and more! Its 4.6K Super 35 image sensor with global shutter and 15 stops of dynamic range is the most complete mini handheld Super 35mm digital film camera that you can use anywhere! Everything you need built right in – from the super bright 5 inch foldout viewfinder to the dual RAW and ProRes recorders, this rugged, lightweight and comfortable shoots up to 60 frames per second features professional connectors such as 12G-SDI, a high quality stereo microphones and a side grip with control buttons mounted on a standard rosette. Jealous? See what we’re working with and check it out at: (see the below video, showing-off some URSA accessories!)

 So, that’s it! Thirteen, one each for the twelve days of Christmas and then a really cool extra! No Lords-a-Leaping, no Ladies Animated_Xmas-tree-animation-Copygif.gif~c200Dancing, and definitely no swans-a-swimming! So, put your chestnuts into that open fire and get them a-roasting! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and Santa has got to go! One thing, though, I’d like to exclaim, before I go outta sight – a Merry Christmas to you all, and to all a good night! And one more thing that’s always win-win – keep reading Broadcast Beat Magazine and remember to stay blogged-in! Ho – Ho – Ho! 🙂

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Editor-In-Chief, Publisher at Broadcast Beat Magazine, LLC.
Ryan started working in the broadcast and post production industry at the young age of twelve! He has produced television programs, built large post production facilities, written for some of the industry's leading publications and was an audio engineer for about ten years. Ryan previously wrote for Broadcast Engineering Magazine, Creative COW and his projects have been featured in dozens of publications.
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